Content creation is an essential part of any business’s digital marketing strategy. Developing an effective strategy for content creation is not only good for business, but it can also lead to less stress throughout the year as you regularly release content.

My first tip for productive content planning is to complete your content creation in batches. After you have created a full year plan, focus on the first 12-weeks only to create content. You might want to update your yearly plan later and you don’t want to do unnecessary work.

With the help of this short tutorial, you will be able to systematise your content creation from planning and keyword research to repurposing content.

Phase 1: The Basics

Step 1: Create a Worksheet

Don’t worry! I have created a Word document for you to use, so you don’t have to go through all the trouble of setting it up!
[This 2019 planner: this is a fillable document, so you will be able to changes dates and use it for years ahead.]

The first step in creating a content calendar is to set everything up in a Worksheet. You can do this in Word or your preferred word processing program.

Create a table with 6 columns. Add the days of the week to the top row of your content calendar.

Next, add a line for each week of the year to separate your content by weeks. Your calendar will look something like this:

Fill out your calendar for the entire year. After you add the days and weeks, you may want to apply colour so you can more easily distinguish the sections.

Step 2: Add Events and Holidays

The next step is to do a Google search to find out what events are happening in your industry so you can add them to your calendar.
I have only added the most basic holidays to the Worksheet like Christmas & New Year. Please add your own special days.

Tips:
Fashion industry: look up the major events that happen throughout the entire year, such as tradeshows or Fashion Week.
Healthcare industry: identify all of the awareness days, weeks, and months.

In your empty calendar template, enter the events into the particular days, weeks, or months when they’ll happen. This way, you can plan your content according to when those events occur.

Your content calendar will begin to look like this:

Phase 2: Identify Content Themes

Step 1: Brainstorm 12 themes that are relevant to your industry.

That way you have 1 idea for each month. Take into consideration what your audience wants to see, how you can educate or entertain them, and what products and services you want to promote.

Also, identify what your business’s internal priorities are. If you’re a fashion line, your priority is to sell clothing. If you’re a musician, your primary goal is to sell albums or book shows. Start thinking about how you can incorporate your business priorities into your content.

For my business, which is digital marketing, I would choose things like content creation, affiliate marketing, blogging, social media, graphics, etc.

Step 2: Come up with 4 subtopics under each theme.

You can do more than this if you plan to release content more than once a week. For most people once a week is enough. I recommend a 80/20 split between education/entertaining, and promoting your products and services. You don’t want to promote your offerings all of the time or people will lose interest and unfollow your page.

Step 3: Keyword research

So your topics probably have some obvious phrases and you probably already know what your keywords are, but if you don’t, you can use the Google Keyword Planner Tool.

I like using this Free Keyword Tool from Wordstream.

Come up with at least 15-20 specific keywords that you can use in your various areas of content.

Phase 3: Choose your primary platform

Decide which platform you are going to use and what kind of content you are going to create for it. It doesn’t mean you can’t be on all, but it’s a good idea to pick one to focus on in the beginning.

Tips:
Instagram: curated photographs and quotes, live videos and stories.
Facebook: short posts, curated photographs and quotes, live videos and stories.
Youtube: videos and tutorials.
LinkedIn: written articles and industry topics.
Website and/or Blog: written articles, posts, etc.

Once you have picked your platform, you should go ahead and choose your preferred medium. Are you going to do video, podcast, or are you going to write a blog? Stick to something you feel comfortable with, it is of no use to try and do videos if appearing on screen makes you feel anxious.

Phase 4: Repurpose content

Once you’ve created some content make sure that is has a long shelf life, because now it’s time to use it intelligently.

For example, with a video:

  • Turn it into a blog post which will help with SEO. (multiple uses of keywords, etc.)
  • Make a Pinterest image and pin it to a relevant board to help with Pinterest traffic.
  • Create a couple of quotes and make graphics to use on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
  • The most fantastic part about a video is you can extract the audio and turn it into a podcast!

So as you can see with one piece of content, you can take care of most types of traffic.

And that’s how you can take an overwhelming content plan and scale it down so that you have one overarching goal each a month and a specific one each week.

Doing an entire year of content planning up front allows you to focus on creating and delivering quality content every week. Try to stay a few weeks ahead in your content creation because it’s easy to fall behind when you’re posting something new every day.

As your audience grows more familiar with your content and your business, they’ll start expecting to see posts at certain times. Keep to your schedule and post your content at the same time each day. You can use tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to do this, and as a bonus, they’ll post on multiple platforms for you.

What do you think? Do you use some of these tactics to create your social media content calendar? What tips can you offer? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.